Netflix’s Found, an English-Chinese documentary follows three teenagers on their journey to discover their roots. This Amanda Lipitz film largely talks about the common experiences the girls had and the stereotypes they faced while growing up. The entire unawareness of their origin has created a void they can’t ignore and their urge to know keeps them restless.
It all starts with the strict Chinese rule of having only one child per family that forced parents to give up on their child or pay a huge penalty. This led to discrimination based on gender and the female child becoming more vulnerable to this forced separation.
“Between 1979 and 2015, china enforced a law allowing only one child per family to control population growth. Estimates over 150000 Chinese children, especially girls were given up and adopted overseas.”
The scene shifts to Jerusalem, Israel where a girl named Chloe Rose is reading religious texts in Hebrew. Sadie Mangelsdorf lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Lily Catherine Bolka lives in Oklahoma City and has just graduated high school.
They have just found out they are blood cousins. They talk about their desire to know more about their Chinese origin, traditions and visit the place. Chloe shared her emotional trauma when a friend remarked that her birth parents gave up on her because they never wanted her.
Sadie shares that she receives phrases like “You act so white.” and “Like, you are, like, the whitest Chinese person I’ve ever met.” Some people tag her as an outcast but she asserts she identifies herself as an American. Lily shares her jaw deformation is genetic. She is reluctant to have her surgery because it strongly reflects who she is and a part of her from her birth parents.
The current parents are strongly supportive. Chloe’s family moved to Phoenix because she is deeply interested to learn Mandarin. Sadie’s mother wants her to have the opportunity to know her history. She understands the dilemma Sadie is in — to know all or stay aloof.
Found ending explained in detail:
Chloe’s father tells her about a 23andme website that can help her find her relatives through her DNA sample. She becomes interested when she finds her blood cousins, Sadie and Lily through this website.
They started communicating to know more about each other and become close.
They set on a venture to find more about their real family through a history and travel guide platform which helped them connect to Liu Hao. Liu Hao is a genealogy researcher who is ambitious to help people trying hard to find their real families.
She feels more connected to these people because she was on the verge of being disowned by her father during that period. She still feels like a stranger in her own home when she doesn’t receive equal treatment as her brother.
After collecting details and thorough research, Hao reaches out to the mass through commercials. She receives calls from few who recognize those photos. Liu Hao reaches out to those parents, visits their homes and realizes the mortifying state those parents are in who lost their child.
The parents talks about those times when they were extremely poor to arrange the penalty. They had to give up on their child and how they can only wish their children are healthy and in a safe place. Their DNA samples are collected but none of them match to Sadie, Lily or Chloe.
A trip to China
All of their parents decide on going on a trip to China to let their children have an experience and feel their roots. Finally, the trio meet after months in China. They visit places and understand the tradition along with their parents.
They also meet Liu Hao who arranges for a visit to the orphanages they were adopted from. They meet their nannies who took good care of them in the orphanage and know more about the phase they were unknown to.
They become emotional to know how the nannies still remember them. Liu Hao takes Lily to the family who had the most chance to match with Lily but didn’t. Li Hao visits them to give their reports in person.
Lily could relate to the family’s sentiments and the pain they are suffering from. The trio understands their real parents’ might be going through the trauma after being separated from them.
The film ends with Lily, Sadie and Chloe getting back to their normal lives after the trip. They are more confident and they feel contented.
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